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Comment from: Joy Connell
*****

Thank you Ruth for clearing up just what a blog entails. And all the good tips on just how seriously we should take some opinions.
Sometimes I think people just like to talk regardless; or be arbitrary. I admit I like to think out loud but it's a lifetime of (bad) habit. I have discovered that most remain quiet and confused so I jump in with questions. My latest personal challenge is just listening without commenting - not so easy.
I really enjoy your journalism and find the articles conclusive, informative, and sincere. Keep them coming!

10/11/13 @ 16:10

Hi Ruth- this is a really useful post on the subject of Blogging. Longer than your normal posts, so I was a bit surprised. Given the complexity of the subject, you have done a nice job of presenting an overview. Look forward to more on related subjects. Keep blogging!

10/12/13 @ 07:34

Rachel Maddow asked Barney Frank the other night why people are angrier at this government shutdown than the one in 1994-1995 (Newt Gingrich?). The ex-Congressman's response?

"People are just angrier at everything nowadays."

10/13/13 @ 10:52

Well, back in the day of newspapers, one of my favorite things to read was "letters to the editor" I also wrote the occasional letter. That was often an exercise in frustration- the editor was God. Sometimes my carefully written comment was edited. Sometimes it didn't see print until weeks later when the topic was no longer a hot issue. Sometimes it just got canned. But it was fun to be famous and have people unexpectedly stop me in the grocery store to acknowledge my contributions. Back then, most of the community read the same paper, and it truly was a community forum.

10/13/13 @ 19:18
Comment from:

See? These comments all add to the piece. I love that you've taken the time (now and in the past) to respond, and I know that it adds value for my readers, too.

Joy: I usually favor people who speak their minds. I don't like having to guess, and frankly, my guesses are often incorrect. Sure, we should refrain from talking over another person's opinion, as each one deserves its place in the conversation. We should refrain from grandstanding. But when we are passionate about a subject and believe we have good reason to speak up, then by all means, we should speak up.

Tom: I do try to mix up long and short posts, and yes, I made a conscious decision to elaborate in this one. It is my hope that more people become comfortable with the format so that the world gets to hear from them as well as the bullies, etc. I know Blogs have been around for a number of years, yet there is still uncertainty among Internet users, uncertainty that prevents some from getting engaged.

Joe: Interesting observation. I want leaders to lead me toward a good life, one that promotes satisfaction, responsibility, and happiness. Of course, I'm not one to blame everything on government, but the last decade (or more) certainly has set a negative tone. We must stay strong in the face of it, I guess.

Warren: You bring up a lot of good points, ending on the community. And yes, I too read the editorials. There are some who write regularly to my local paper, and their articles make it in because the editor values the section and because the writers work hard to craft a letter that they are willing to sign their name to. Still, there is something to be said about a local's opinion about a local topic. Local issues that have a great impact on a person's quality of life, are usually best understood because they relate directly to that life. And those are the ones in which one person's letter can really open up minds to different perspectives and begin valuable conversations about things that really matter.

Thanks for the comments everyone. Keep on writing!

10/14/13 @ 08:55